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Lindsay Harris

Biography

Lindsay Harris (1947- ) is a Nyoongar artist who works in Western Australia. His works are a depiction of his country that he grew up in, which is Kwolyin in the central Wheat belt. Harris’s work is not overtly of the ‘indigenous brand’ although he uses indigenous symbols from Nyoongar practice. It is about his personal story, which in itself contains his indigenousness. His use of natural media; ochre, clay, resins and other pigments on organic hemp canvases allows a direct connection to the land, rendering what must be a highly important aspect of his work and life- country. The use of only naturally derived mediums from Kwolyin to translate the aesthetics of the land means that his mediums will eventually deteriorate. Harris understands this to be to do with a theme of his work- impermanence:

“Kwolyin town is now a ghost town with only a church remaining. However, when I am there, I can make out the barest foundations of its town-site. Impermanence is the word that best describes what I am seeing … Change is always occurring, nothing stays the same”.
He draws on childhood memories of growing up in Kwolyin that was once the core of WA’s agricultural industry. Harris explains: 'my paintings come from physical and spiritual nourishment created from having an intimacy when in my country. This is possibly why an explanation to the viewer is necessary about my art as it is difficult to fully appreciate the meaning if one has not been there and breathed and rested in these lands as I have'.

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Aboriginal Art (991)